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By James R. Williamson
Racing Yachts A Fine Art Edition, represents the pride, aspirations and abilities of the designers, builders, captains, crews and owners of all sailing yachts. A tribute to all who strive to achieve perfection in every way with these fine craft.
The evolution of the large racing yacht extended over 150 years, from the 1780s until 1937. Many types, hull forms and rigs were built and designed to various rating rules. Their very size and the frequent extremes of design, construction and maintenance were always fascinating and remains so today. To build such a craft demanded considerable technical ability and craftsmanship. Their designers often showed innovation in design and use of materials well beyond established practice.
Sailing large class racing yachts required large, alert and well trained crews. Captains and mates combined seamanship, organizational ability, sensitive helmsmanship and the skills to balance and tune a complex rig and sail plan. Racing skippers displayed tactical skill and steely nerves to get the advantage over rivals in close quarter maneuvering.
In 1908 Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered Germanys leading yacht designer, Max Oertz, to design Meteor IV. She was a 400 ton, 154 foot long racing yacht. The masts were 165 feet tall and the vessel had 13,710 square feet of sail area. This great machine was built by Krupps at the Germania Werft in Kiel.
Cetonia was designed by V.M.Soper for S.M.Singer. The yacht was built by Camper and Nicholson in 1902 at Southhampton. She displaced 295 tons, measured 120 feet long and carried 11,000 square feet of canvas.
Racing Yachts presents Meteor IV racing Cetonia at Cowes. Situated on the Isle of Wight, seat of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes was the stage for the Kings Cup competition in 1912.
Copyright 1990 James R. Williamson All rights reserved.
October 8th, 2011
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